Welcome

to Spark's "Starter Pack"

 

This part of the website is designed specifically for those of you who are new or are just checking things out. We hope you get a good sense of who we are and why we exist through the following explanations and video clips, though this is really just a snapshot of a much larger picture. Most of all, we hope you feel fully welcome and invited to connect with this amazing community.

 

We're honored that you would take the time to journey with us. Scroll down to begin!

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"Inspiring People To Live The Way of Jesus"

 

Every community needs a focus, an anchor of security as an identity and as a guide for behavior. For us, it is the life, ministry, teachings, and person of Jesus.

 

Core Values Driven

 

Being Jesus-centered meant revisiting all our assumptions and accepted norms about "church." One of the main conclusions was to be "core values driven" rather than "statement of faith" or "doctrinally" driven.

 

Study & Questions


To be Jesus-centered, and core values driven, we have to study well, and ask deep questions. This combination of study and curiosity is perhaps one of the most important avenues to understanding our faith journey.

 

Safe Wrestling

 

We call this "wrestling," a holy and sacred struggle of figuring things out, together. This is especially true during the most critical times of our lives, and Spark is a safe place to hold the space that you inhabit in grace and understanding.

 

Doubt and Tension

 

All of this means that doubt and tension will be with us for the rest of our journey. And that is more than okay. It's human.

 

It May Get Uncomfortable

 

Core values, questions, tensions, doubts, and wrestling lead us to creating a community experience in which we are at times uncomfortable with what we're hearing or experiencing. This is hard for people who want to never be challenged in their faith. For us, we encourage Sparkers to embrace a little discomfort, for the sake of growth.

 

People With Whom We Live

 

All of that is rooted in the community we develop and foster. It is our relationships, the sharing of life, that forms the context in which all of these values play out. We hope that all who join our community will experience this kind of connection.

 

So We Invite You...

 

It is our hope that the fullness of your identity is welcomed, embraced, challenged, encouraged, and inspired to

Live The Way of Jesus

Some Highlights Of The Journey Thus Far

 

In response to the question, "So, what do you believe?" instead of simply answering with a list of statements, perhaps we can reply with a trailer to a really good story. "Well, once upon a time."

 

(​From our October 29, 2017 message, "This Is Our Story.")

A highlight video from our 2018 five year anniversary:

 

Our guests over the years:

We have been delighted and grateful to host talks and conversations with many teachers, leaders, and scholars. Please visit our podcast archive to find talks from Rabbi Ari Cartun, Rabbi Moshe Silberschein, Pastor Dave Peterson, Pastor Sarai Crain, Betty Ann Boeving, Mark Yaconelli, Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Dr. Curt Rhodes, Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, Dr. Peter EnnsDr. Randall Balmer, Dr. Marie Griffith, Dr. Diana Butler Bass, Pastor Gary HaleJohn Liotti, Pastor Paul Bains, Rolando Zeledon, Justin Lee, Preston Sprinkle, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Austin Channing Brown, Jemar Tisby, Professor W. Warren Binford, Ryan Eller, and Spark pastors and community members. In addition to the sample below, visit our Talks & Events page for event information and links.

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Rabbi Mosche Silberschein

What Jews & Christians can learn from one another through the lens of classical rabbinic literature.

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Dr. Kenneth Gibbs

"Prone To Wonder." Elevating the conversation on faith and science through history, personal testimony, and theological reflection.

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Dr. Daniel B. Wallace

The New Testament: Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then? An introduction and survey of the manuscripts of the New Testament.

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Austin Channing Brown

The story behind her book, "I'm Still Here" with a "conversational lecture" panel. Part 2 of 2, Q&R.

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Justin Lee & Preston Sprinkle

Sexuality, Scripture, and the Soul of Christianity. A public conversation with two follow-up podcast interviews (one with Justin, and one with Preston) Part 2 of 2, Q&R.

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Warren Binford

An internationally recognized children's right scholar and advocate who was the principle witness of the inhumane conditions of the children at the CBP detention center in Clint, TX.

Ryan Eller

An honest, principled, and multi-faith conversation on immigration, religion, and the lives of fellow Americans.

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Jemar Tisby

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's complicity in racism.

 

And more to come...

Thanks for perusing our "Starter Pack." We hope it was helpful, informative, and inspiring to consider The Way of Jesus in this world. We look forward to the day, soon, when we can connect in person.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to connect.